Warner Bros. Will Let Film Crews Anonymously Report On-Set Coronavirus Safety Violations

Warner Bros. Will Let Film Crews Anonymously Report On-Set Coronavirus Safety Violations
Image: WARNER BROS. STUDIOS, AP

As studios grapple with the impact of coronavirus on the entertainment industry at large, Warner Bros. is reportedly planning to roll out an anonymous reporting system in the United Kingdom that would allow workers on production sets to flag violations of covid-19 safety protocols.

Deadspin reported Monday that the initiative was presented by Kevin Trehy, Warner Bros. executive vice president of physical production, during a panel for the UK trade union Bectu, which represents freelance and contract workers in media and entertainment. Deadspin cited Trehy as saying during the closed-door panel that Warner Bros. plans to take precautionary measures that go beyond agreed-upon protocols, including those from the British Film Commission.

Spokespeople for Warner Bros. did not immediately return for a request for comment about the measures.

In its guidance for onset production for TV and film production during covid-19 — which is meant to supplement the most up-to-date government guidance — the British Film Commission recently set outside departmental- and need-based criteria for protecting all involving parties on set. Those include things like using sanitizer regularly; record-keeping for things like cleaning or symptoms checks as well as noncompliance; allowing only essential visitors; and transparency should a cast or crew member skirt agreed-upon measures. It, too, recommends a confidential reporting system.

But the guidance also takes into account standards for some jobs by those on set that cannot be socially distanced, or “fixed groups,” and outlines measures for protecting everyone involved both onset and off production. For cast and crew whose jobs make it difficult not to be around others, the guidance recommends staggered call times and limiting otherwise shared spaces to one department at a time to reduce risk.

As of this week, the UK had nearly 297,000 confirmed cases of covid-19, with more than 45,000 deaths. Though it’s been in lockdown for months, the country is easing up with some ongoing restrictions still in place for things like businesses like nightclubs, the New York Times reported. Schools will — and even stadiums may — reopen in fall, a decision that many argue is poorly considered and prematurely executed. And lord if that doesn’t sound all too familiar.